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Annales Geophysicae Sun, Earth, planets, and planetary systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-40
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Regular paper
08 May 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).
The mirror mode: A superconducting space plasma analogue
Rudolf A. Treumann1 and Wolfgang Baumjohann2 1International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland
2Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
Abstract. We re-examine the physics of the magnetic mirror mode in its final state of saturation, the thermodynamic equilibrium, to demonstrate that the mirror mode is the analogue of a superconducting effect in a classical anisotropic-pressure space plasma. Two different spatial scales are identified which control the behaviour of its evolution. These are the ion inertial scale λim(τ) based on the excess density Nm(τ) generated in the mirror mode, and the Debye scale λD(τ). The Debye length plays the role of the correlation length in superconductivity. Their dependence on the temperature ratio τ = T / T < 1 is given, with T the critical temperature. The mirror mode equilibrium structure under saturation is determined by the Landau–Ginzburg ratio κD = λim / λD, or κρ = λim / ρ, depending on whether the Debye length or the thermal-ion gyroradius ρ serve as correlation lengths. Since in all space plasmas κD ≫ 1, plasmas with λD as relevant correlation length always behave like type II superconductors, naturally giving rise to chains of local depletions of the magnetic field of the kind observed in the mirror mode. In this way they provide the plasma with a magnetic bubble texture. The problem becomes more subtle when ρ is taken as correlation length. In this case the evolution of mirror modes is more restricted. Their existence as chains or trains of mirror bubbles implies that another threshold, VA > νth, is exceeded.
Citation: Treumann, R. A. and Baumjohann, W.: The mirror mode: A superconducting space plasma analogue, Ann. Geophys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-40, in review, 2018.
Rudolf A. Treumann and Wolfgang Baumjohann
Rudolf A. Treumann and Wolfgang Baumjohann
Rudolf A. Treumann and Wolfgang Baumjohann

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We re-examine the physics of the magnetic mirror mode in its final state of saturation, the thermodynamic equilibrium, to demonstrate that the mirror mode is the analogue of a superconducting effect in a classical anisotropic-pressure space plasma. Two different spatial scales are identified which control the behaviour of its evolution.
We re-examine the physics of the magnetic mirror mode in its final state of saturation, the...
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